The Real Deal Chicago

Morgan Stanley takes another 50K sf at Willis Tower

The deal will push occupancy at the tower over 90 percent
April 16, 2018 03:00PM

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman (Credit: Getty Images, Pixabay)

What do you do when 122,000 square feet isn’t enough? If you’re Morgan Stanley, you re-up for 50,000 more.

The New York-based investment bank is further consolidating its downtown Chicago footprint into the 110-story Willis Tower with a new 50,000-square-foot lease at the 3.8 million-square-foot building, according to Crain’s.

Last quarter, Morgan Stanley inked a 122,000-square-foot lease there. This deal would give the financial giant the fourth-largest footprint in the building, eclipsing the 156,000 occupied by Willis Group Holdings, the British insurance brokerage that bought naming rights to the building in 2009.

The firm will vacate space at nearby 440 South Lasalle Street in 2020, according to Crain’s. It also leases 69,000 square feet at 227 West Monroe Street.

The building, where work recently began on a $668 million renovation, has been on a leasing run that’s included larger deals by railcar leasing firm GATX and engineering firm ESD in the past year. Its office space was 77 percent filled a year ago according to a Morningstar report cited by Crain’s.

Blackstone Group recently completed a $1.3 billion refinancing of the building.

It paid $1.2 billion for the tower in 2015, and it still holds the record for priciest office building to sell in the United States outside of Manhattan. [Crain’s]  – Scott Klocksin